Status and Influence
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal refers to a growing body of research indicating that eye gaze denotes status. Whether in dyads or small groups, those with status receive more eye contact from their conversation companions.
Employees who pay attention to the boss's body language in meetings will understand which employee he finds most promising. On the flip side, employees who wish to get ahead may increase their chances by maintaining eye contact with the boss. It is unlikely that eye contact will make up for shoddy work, but it could help a good worker in a competitive environment give himself an edge.
According to a 2009 review published in Image and Vision Computing, non-verbal communications include tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, and body language, including posture, and of course: eye gaze.
At least 65 percent of communication is non-verbal. If more people understood this, they might spend more energy on how they speak, not just on which words they choose when speaking.
A person who stands up straight and looks you in the eye while speaking will get more attention and respect, in general, than a speaker who slouches and has difficulty maintaining eye contact. The two speakers may use the exact same words, and even have an equal understanding of the subject on which they speak. But the one who uses non-verbal communication techniques well will seem to know more than the other.
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